Knowles Syndrome, Zebras in the Spotlight: Basketballmanac, 1st Weekend Review

Preston Knowles sadly ended his career, injured, watching from the bench as his Cards folded against Morehead State. How were he and we to know his inopportune blunder from a few weeks prior would foretell the ending of the most cockamamie game in the tourney’s storied history?

Turn the dial just a smidge on the Not So Way Back Machine to 3/05/11. U of L kicks away the regular season finale in Morgantown. Knowles, playing with his usual aggressiveness, boneheadedly fouls Truck Bryant at the game’s end, who hits two FTs, allowing the Mountaineers to escape in regulation.

Which brings us to the stunner known as Butler beats Pitt.

What was Shelvin Mack thinking?

What was Nasir Robinson thinking?

Talk about that unbelievable finish all you want. But, when doing so, do not forget to consider the incredible winning play drawn up by Brad Stevens. Simple. Brilliant. Well Thought Out. Well Executed.

As a reader wrote to me, it was “Crumesque.”

* * * * *

I’ve got one word for you.

Brandon Knight.

* * * * *

As I mentioned in my NCAAs A-Z last week, Z is for Zebras.

And, looky there, Jim Burr as part of the no call that ended the Arizona/ Texas game. There sure coulda — shoulda? — been a foul on that follow shot at the buzzer. Which would have put the Longhorns at the line.

It’s the least Zebra Richard Cartmell could have done after that mighty, mighty quick 5 second call which gave Arizona the ball, resulting in the winning tally.

* * * * *

Have to admit that the added three teams have added some spice to the Dance.

Thank you, Virginia Commonwealth.

I made a note to complain about the disservice to Clemson, which had to play late Tuesday night in Dayton, then travel through the night for a noon Thursday date with West Virginia.

Then Ram-alama-ding-dong VCU proved that to be of little consequence. They battered Southern Cal, whose cheer squad was sorely missed the rest of the weekend, and shall continue to be so for the remainder of the tourney. Then pummeled a depleted Georgetown team two nights later. Then drew and quartered a totally out of sync Purdue squad.

Take that, Jay Bilas.

Guess I’ll have to check out the sports pages of the Richmond papers. Spiders survive. VCU survives. Heady times in Ol’ Virginny.

* * * * *

March Madness. Indeed.

An #8 seed is still alive. A #10 seed is still alive. Two #11 seeds are still alive. And a #12 seed.

Contemplate this, Joe Lunardi. Either Florida State or Virginia Commonwealth is going to make it to the Elite Eight.

* * * * *

One of the great benefits of the new tourney format is that we don’t have to watch as much studio stuff. It’s a really good thing.

I will admit that Sir Charles Barkley has been a disappointment.

I did see the moment last night when he was dissing the Big Least. It was obvious he really got under the skin of guest expert Rick Pitino. Who proceeded to guarantee a Notre Dame W over Florida State. Oops.

I love listening to Reggie Miller do a game. Great insight and perspective.

It’s time to move on from Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg as the #1 announcing crew. They’re far from the best of the lot.

* * * * *

The Big East’s lack of overwhelming success is not a surprise to me. The only stunners really are Louisville’s loss, and Notre Dame’s lame-O effort last night against the Seminoles.

* * * * *

Finally, have you read what larrybrownsports.com has reported about our old nemesis TWill and his reaction to the U of L loss:

After the loss Thursday, Williams tweeted “Hhahaha morehead st what is that? I remember when we played guys like that was scared to look at us on the court man times have changed.” After getting some criticism, he added “Why these half a** ville fans mad at me I didn’t loose the game all I said was we beat teams like that they didn’t have that same passion.”

For somebody who didn’t show up in his last game, the biggest one of his career, the loss to Michigan State, you’d think the guy would keep his yap shut.

– Seedy K

6 Comments

  1. gnash001
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    How come I never see Williams in the Rockets’ box scores anymore? Is he still on their team? Is he spending too much time tweeting and not enough working on his game?

  2. Patrick Whelan
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Chuck, it’s not the Big East’s “lack of overwhelming success” that is the topic of conversation but their overwhelming underachievment having only 2 of 11 teams make the second weekend. Including a 1 and a 2 seed.

    And how can you be disappointed in Charles Barkley? What a breath of fresh air in the studio both he and Kenny Smith bring. A perspective where the focus is much more broad than the regular college basketball talking heads who focus only on the power 6 conferences. Everyone and everything is fair game to these guys.

  3. Seedy K
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Mr.gnash001: Yes. Yes, yes.

    Mr. Whelan: I love Sir Charles. But he seems a might unprepared, which bothers me. That said, he and KS are a great addition. But not as great as the reality we don’t need to listen to any of them. We can just flip the channel and watch ball.

    As I wrote, the only Big East teams that have underachieved in the tourney as far as I’m concerned are U of L and Notre Dame. Both should have won easily. Neither did. Pitt was never in my book a legit title contender. They play too close to the vest. Nova was a train wreck. G-town was without their PG. Two teams lost to conference foes. Its lack of tourney success notwithstanding, the league was unquestionably the toughest top to bottom during the regular season, which everybody but those with an innate hatred for the league acknowledges.

  4. Patrick Whelan
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Well Chuck if by toughest you mean having the most average teams, well I tend to agree.

  5. cbcard
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    The BE lacked teams at the top of the caliber of the top one or two teams in several other leagues. It’s top two teams don’t figure to be NCAA championship contenders.

    Its strength was that its number three team on down would win most matchups with the corresponding team from other conferences. And by the time you get to number six against number six the gap gets really big. Yes, that didn’t happen in the Big Dance but it did happen in the regular season. Its failure in the tourney is partly injuries (G-town, UofL, St Johns) and partly the clunker that every good but not great team throws out every so often (ND, Pitt who is an expert at this come tourney time so perhaps Dixon is overrated and this was more to be expected than a clunker, and UofL here also).

    Let me summarize. The strength was in numbers, not the cream of the crop.

  6. Justin
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    TWill has been injured this season, one of several reasons for his lack of pt. I didn’t see his tweet/fb post the night of the Big East Championship game reported. He loves UofL and this current team and is a big supporter.

    I feel so bad for Preston ending his senior season this way. Especially since VCU has gone so far, and they were the only school to offer him a scholarship out of high school.

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